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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pray Like Jesus Prayed

Jesus' disciples asked Him to teach them to pray. They had heard Jesus pray. It was different from those they had heard from the Rabbis and Pharisees. These prayers were powerful. They went into the throne room of God and got results. The disciples wanted to know how to pray like Jesus.

Unfortunately, people have often taken His teaching on prayer and mindlessly repeated it. They have thought of it as "magic" or at least iconic words which will invoke a reaction from God. They have not seen the principles laid within the model prayer that we call the Lord's Prayer. They simply repeat it.

Here are those principles that will make your prayers powerful. They are the principles laid down by Jesus.

Our Father who art in heaven- Our address is not so that God will know to whom we are speaking but to help us recognize what we are doing. We are going to our Father. He is not a stone god which is ambivalent to our cries. He loves us. We go to Him on this basis.

hallowed by Thy Name- Our Father is holy. There is no shadow of evil about Him. He will neither listen to our prayers of evil nor will He give us evil. He is set apart from all evil. Our request will be answered in His holiness.

Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven- We fully recognizing that we are seeking His will. We are not trying to bend His will to ours. We are not able to coerce Him to do as we please. We are His. His will is what we seek because we know it is best. His will honors His name. We want His will on earth like His will is obeyed in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread- We make petitions according to our needs. We can pray for any need. We can lift these things to Him with an expectation of His hearing.

And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us- Our forgiveness is inextricably tied to our forgiving. We need to forgive as much as we need forgiveness. Our own lack of forgiving leaves us unforgiven. Most of the mental institutions could be emptied if people could receive forgiveness. It is necessary for our relationship with our heavenly father. We are praying that we are forgiven just as we have forgiven. Forgiveness fails to come to us any other way.

And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil- It is hard to imagine that God would lead us into temptation. This is a prayer that we will be protected from our temptations. It is a prayer that we will not succumb to these temptations. It is an absolutely needed prayer each time we pray. How many homes would be intact if men had not given into their temptations? How many hospitals would be vacant if people didn't give into their temptations? How many children would grow up in healthy, confidence building families if parents didn't give into their temptations? Pray this will diligence for we are all able to follow our temptations.

For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever- Yes, this is what we are praying for. We want Him to receive the glory. We want to recognize that He possesses the power. We want His kingdom. We long for it.

Amen. - So be it. Yes, please so be it.

Continue to repeat the Lord's Prayer but never let yourself do so mindlessly again. It is powerful to pray this model prayer. Pray it now.

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